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 Post subject: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 6:35 pm 
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Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
I came across this oscilloscope on eBay. The seller has it listed for parts since he lacks the means to test it. I have done some research on recommend analog oscilloscopes and Tektronix seems to be the recommended brand. Should I go for this?

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/303925223844?ha ... SwzGFgU2Ir

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 6:58 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
It's a good brand, but that price is ridiculous for a unit that is not guaranteed to be in good working condition. That particular model is overkill for working on radios or audio amplifiers.

You ought to be able to pick up one that works for less than that. I'd look at local ads on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace and the like to see what you can turn up. Sometimes they can be found for $100 or less.

Given your location, it would be well worth driving to the Toronto area or Buffalo in order to pick up a unit in person and avoid the shipping costs.

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 7:17 pm 
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Location: Northeast Illinois 60188
I would be concerned that the seller apparently is unable to even show you a trace on the CRT. He has listed another Tek scope that shows a trace, so I would think it would be able to figure it out on this similar model if it was capable of producing one.

I think that the asking price is too high considering the as-is nature of the sale (and lack of even a trace). Should be half of that in my opinion.

Also, unless you need the storage functionality of this model, you might want consider a non-storage scope such as the 465 or 475, as it just adds more complexity and thus more to go wrong if you don't need it. The trace on the storage CRT is also typically not quite as sharp as on the non-storage 4XX models.

Yes, for general repair work on radios and such, I strongly prefer analog and Tektronix. You will find others here with differing opinions, but there are plenty of threads about that, and it sounds like you've read them, so we don't need to re-open that can of worms again!

I currently use a Tek 2465A as my daily driver. Analog scope with some digital enhancements. Love it. Previously owned a 465B/DM44.

- Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 01, 2020 7:22 pm
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Judging by his other items and his history, he's buying Gov't surplus gear and selling it on ebay...Given the number of controls on the front of that scope, he may have no real idea how to get a trace on the display, but that price is too high given the uncertainty of it actually working.

You can see the Government of Canada sticker on the scope, and part of a CAL sticker held on by scotch tape.

He does appear to be open to offers, but it is a bit of a crap shoot...!

Good luck whatever you decide to do...73..Jordan VE6ZT


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 16, 2020 12:29 am
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I can give you a very good tip on Tek 464 and 466 scopes.

There are two types of each. Sellers normally never refer to the differences, which are quite significant in my opinion.

After a certain serial number Tek (B200000 & up) changed both the internal design (significantly different vertical amplifiers in the 464 and 466) and they changed the outside a little (see attached photo of the later version). So it is easy to see, from the changes on the front panel, which is the later and better unit.

Tek moved to LED illumination indicators on the front panel, much better than the early system.

The main difference though is in the design of the vertical amplifier board. Although the early versions did meet spec, Tek improved the design by moving to Gilbert cells in the front end. So if you get a 464 or 466 scope manual, if you get the later version actual scope, you need to make sure the service manual covers it.

I have a number of 464 and 466 scopes, I only every bought the later versions after finding out about these differences. Because the later scopes with the improvements are also newer, of a more recent manufacturing date, in most cases the main power supply electrolytics are usually still ok. They practically never are now in the early version.

If you want to read about what Tek did (as applied to both the 464 and 466) and how the Gilbert cell helps & calibration of their vertical amplifiers:

https://www.worldphaco.com/uploads/TEKT ... SCOPES.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 12:07 am 
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I still find it incredible that you can buy a working example of this sophisticated instrument for a couple hundred dollars when it cost over $6000.00 in 1980 which equates to more than a $20,000 expenditure today.


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 12:33 am 
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Joined: Jan Sat 16, 2016 4:15 pm
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That 464 was a lifesaver back in the day. The ability to capture one-shot events, to see the duration of voltage transitions, the length of signalling tones, and more.

The cheapest of today's digital scopes is better at all of those things.

Now, $20,000 buys you a vastly superior instrument. One containing a powerful computer. The ability to host a second display for applications you want to run concurrently, USB data storage, networking with your other lab instruments.

Here's an example. Of course, the first thing you do with a new scope is to display a sine wave!


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 12:38 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
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That has to do with a rock and a hard place. The big companies had to upgrade their test gear and then found the older stuff moldering on the shelf, so they auctioned it off. Those who bought them were caught between what the stuff would bring when sold, and its intrinsic value.

Most of the customers for it were either small companies with no budget, or hobbyists with even less, so selling it has been difficult and not very lucrative. So the auctions brought less and less for what is pretty good gear.

We as hobbyists benefit greatly from this situation. Some of us have bigger wallets than brains and we buy gear that needs an engineering mind to use. With that in mind, I am anxious to start going to swap meets again.


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 4:50 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 16, 2020 12:29 am
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In addition to the other remarks I made, I can help you further with suggestions on how to end up with a good vintage Tek scope.

I have learnt these things over many years of buying & selling Tek scopes, with some big successes and very big disappointments.

When looking at one of interest to buy, the function of it is not too important, because they nearly always require repair & adjustments at this age, that is not where the issues are.

What is of paramount importance, is the cosmetic appearance.

Scratched paint, dings & dents, broken knobs are a very very bad sign. Also if you can ask for the seller to show a photo of the feet the scope sits on, and see if the scope has been dragged around with worn feet. All of this correlates with a scope that has had a bad life, multiple episodes of abuse and carelessness, used by people who do not actually own and do not respect the scope. It is not wise to buy an ex government department scope, these are with worst of all for abuses, in my experience.

The perfect unit to get is one in very tidy cosmetic condition, preferably from a private owner and one that has not been worked on by multiple calibration houses.

Multiple calibration stickers are also a very bad sign as the scope has been shipped back and forth and every stage in the shipping is equivalent to throwing it down one flight of stairs . In many calibration houses the skill level is not up to the task, wrong tools used over tightened screws, stickers scraped off with screwdrivers, the list goes on.

So what I'm am saying here is that the external cosmetic appearance of the unit; is highly correlated with the internals being in good order. This general rule also applies to used cars.

Other positive signs include; tidy looking manuals and probes with it. A probe pouch in good order and the presence of the front dust cover, also suggesting that the owner of the unit looked after it and was proud of it. This may sound like pop psychology, but it is how over the years I have increased my chances of finding good Tek scopes.


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 3:03 am 
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Quote:
...This may sound like pop psychology,...
in general, I agree with Acornvalve. I've also bought and sold quite a bit of lab test equipment over the years keeping those pieces I wanted and flipping the rest to pay for the keepers.

I didn't much care if it worked, and actually preferred it didn't, but it had to look "pretty". Usually a pretty "NO-OP" didn't sell for much more, if at all, than an ugly "NO-OP".

You should know what it is you're buying and whether or not its an apparent no op because of the position of the various controls.

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 23, 2020 1:20 am
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Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
Thank you all who replied to my question! I am definitely looking for a simpler Tektronix oscilloscope like the Tektronix 464.

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sun 07, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: Manchester, MI
Yep, way overpriced.

Except for my first Tek scope I bought 25 years ago, I have never paid more than $75 for one (and those were special cases that included the scope cart and other items). Most were in the 35-60 range. Some worked, some needed repair.

You may pay more for a reconditioned and calibrated scope, but the problem is who do you trust? To verify a calibration you essentially need the equipment to DO a calibration, so that is a problem. Basic functionality though can be established by observation.

If you want a Tek scope (and I highly recommend one, Tek made the best analog scopes ever), you might want to post in the wanted section. Also do some research on the model. Some models have common problems (filter caps in the 46x models, sometimes tantalum caps, etc). Some have features you may not need (eg storage) If you're not confident enough to effect a repair, it may be a good idea to get a scope where these repairs have been done. Most of these are in the 40+ year now.

Also, look on Craigslist or any local hamfests, I've found a few there for cheap. They still might not work, but at least you can see it.


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Apr Thu 23, 2020 1:20 am
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Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
Thank you PaulAm for the tip. I just posted in classified section for an analog Tektronix oscilloscope.

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sat 16, 2016 4:15 pm
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The Tek 464 and 466 are pretty much the same except for better storage in the 466. You wouldn't buy either of these for storage or viewing single-shot events with the availability of affordable digital scopes.

For that reason, a lot of people think the 465 is a better choice because it's similar without the storage. I suppose because people avoid the 464 & 466, you may be able to find one of them for a lower price than a 465.

These are pretty sophisticated scopes with north of 50 controls & switches on the front panel. For a first time user, I would suggest something like a Tek 2213 unless you are looking for sophisticated:


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Jun Fri 19, 2009 6:34 pm
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Location: Long Island NY
Quote:
Thank you all who replied to my question! I am definitely looking for a simpler Tektronix oscilloscope like the Tektronix 464.


You made a wise decision. While Tektronix rules the roost when it comes to oscilloscopes--back then and now--there could be more things wrong with a 464 or 466 than can be listed here, which would keep the trace off the screen but light up the indicator lights. Most of those problems would cost more to fix than the scope is worth, unless you are prepared to fix it yourself. Some things cannot be repaired because the parts simply aren't available any more.

One big problem is the CRTs in the 464s and 466s. They are flood gun storage tubes which are basically irreplaceable, and they did not last all that long. When they get weak you can still get a trace on the screen but the storage feature no longer works correctly. Even if you find one that still does work, I cannot think of any place in antique or vintage radio where you need a storage scope, so why pay extra for something you don't need now and may go bad by the time you do need it? If you need to store waveform images for posterity, a modern digital storage scope is the only way to go.

I think the best all around scope in that series is the Tek 465-B. It's an enhanced non-storage version of the 464. The 465-B was immensely popular in its day and there are still lots of them around. For the same reasons Acornvalve gave above, I would recommend a "B" over an earlier 465.

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
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I have a 465 I like a lot but have put it in the closet since upgrading to a faster unit. It has many nice features that make it a pleasure to use. Analog of course, 100 MHz, two channels, with delaying sweep that seldom gets used. I should take it to a swap meet.

I sold off my HP 1727A storage scope. It had 275 MHz bandwidth but again, the storage feature made it unwieldy for my purposes. And my 453 is probably sold as well. That is a good one, very easy to use and transparent to see what you want.


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 01, 2020 7:22 pm
Posts: 246
On closer inspection, that scope is surplus from Environment Canada, and has likely been fairly well taken care of.

If I were looking for a scope, and I lived as close to the seller as you do in Ontario, I'd offer him 150 bucks CDN shipped, but I might be able to fix what if anything is ailing it.

I don't think the seller would have spent much time trying to get a trace, and there are a number of easily explained reasons for no trace...

While the listed price is what it is, prices up here in Canada are usually a bit higher than in the U.S.

YMMV...Jordan...


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 10:48 pm 
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I would strongly recommend you find a Tektronix, scope. Even though most of the affordable and simplest varieties are pushing 40, they are still excellent performers. I have a 454, 465, and a 2465 which I recently fixed, and have given thought to a storage scope many times over the years, but that function would be seldom used.

I had a Siglent 1202X-E I think it was, but I just didn't see the "wonder" in endless menus, and overall lackluster performance, so I sold it. Individual controls are so much faster and easier, even if there are 50, but they are all visible all the time, well labeled, and simply require a twist or a push.

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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 11:28 pm 
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:wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Tektronix 466 Oscilloscope listed on eBay
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2021 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sat 16, 2016 4:15 pm
Posts: 342
So - what are you saying there ttx450cap? This is Mike pushing the buttons on his scope?


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